Sunday, September 11, 2011

Soups, Chowders, and Stews

Every year, as fall approaches, I start thinking about soups, chowders, and stews. I love all three and there are so many possibilities when it comes to making them at home. One of the things I like most about them is that all three freeze really well. And you know what that means...right? You guessed it...easy lunch and dinner solutions. All you have to do is take a carton of whatever out of the freezer, defrost and heat, pop some garlic bread in the oven, make a salad and you're home free.

Another thing about these dishes, you can really get creative. You can take a basic recipe, like Vegetable soup for example, and create something really unique and delicious, something  you and your whole family will really love. And it may be a solution to throwing away those tomatoes or green peppers that have been accumulating in the frig, wilted and not looking so appetizing anymore but still edible. Just throw them in a pot of hot water with some sliced onions, diced potatoes, and carrots and maybe the rest of that chicken from last night's dinner. Throw that in too. Add some thyme, a bay, leaf, salt, pepper, and a couple of swigs of red wine and Voila! You have a tempting Chicken Vegetable soup for dinner...healthy, delicious, and easy to fix. And don't forget to freeze whatever is left over, or save it in the frig for tomorrow's.

There are so many ways to make any of these three dishes your own by adding the ingredients that you and your family love. You can choose your own vegetables; add rice, pasta, or beans; and a variety of herbs, condiments, and/or spices. Boullion is a good idea; it'll heighten the flavor (but leave out the salt if you use it). And don't forget a little wine (any kind) but be careful about sweet wines...probably dry are better. If you feel more comfortable using a recipe, use a basic one and then add your favorites to it. You can float french bread and cheese on top or croutons, of cheese alone, almost any kind will do. Experiment....that's half the fun of it. Try it on Onion or fresh Tomato soup. Grated Cheddar will also work on many stews.

Chowders are really healthy choices but usually are a little more work intensive. One of my very favorite dishes is Corn Chowder. I have to stay away from seafood chowders because of allergies, but I know they are delicious. And Gumbo, which is similar to a chowder, with rice, okra, and tomatoes is wonderful. I'm not a big fan of okra by it's self but, in Gumbo, it's fine.

And then there are Chilis, both red and white. Here are a couple of recipes I posted at an earlier time: Timothy's White Chili and Chili Con Carne Authentique (from Doctor's Inn Bed and Breakfast, Berea KY). Both are fabulous!

Pureed Soups
Broccoli-Cheese Soup
Pumpkin Soup
Butternut Squash,Cheddar, and Apple Soup
Tomato Soup (and puree)

Healthy warming soups and Stews

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  1. are making me hungry! That last photo looks SO GOOD!

  2. Stopped over from She Writes. Love the blog and I love soups. I have a lot of food allergies, but I can make really delicious soup with no problem. The folks I work with are always hanging around sniffing my lunches :) I'm going to check out the recipes. Thanks for posting them!

  3. Michael Ann Maybe you can fill up one of your green bowls with one of my soups. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Liz Thanks for checking out my blog. The nice thing about cooking at home is you can control exactly what you're putting into your dishes, and therefore, your mouth LOL

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